World Senior Chess Championship in Marienbad knows its winners Print
Thursday, 01 December 2016 08:33


World Senior Chess Championship in Marienbad knows its winners

Two weeks in Marienbad, 11 rounds and the closing ceremony are all behind us and all there is left for the players is the trip back home. And when they return, they will surely have many great memories!

Marienbad helped to make this championship a beautiful and special experience with its gorgeous architecture and plethora of healing springs. The championship made a new record in participation, there were 470 players from 54 countries. Team of thirty experienced organizers was led by Dr. Jan Mazuch to fullfil all wishes of the participants. Another important piece in the puzzle to make a remarkable tournament is an experienced arbiter – and you would hardly find someone more competent than the Chief arbiter of WSCC 2016 IA Andrzej Filipowicz. Mr. Filipowicz is not only a world-class arbiter (the Chief arbiter of several matches for the World Champion title), but also a very successful player (member of Polish chess olympic team on 7 occasions).

On Monday evening, there was a meeting with chief of Senior Commission in FIDE Dr. Dirk Jordan, where the future of the World Senior Championship was discussed. Before round 10, players held a moment of silence for late GM Mark Tajmanov, who was not only an excellent chess player (champion of Soviet Union in 1956, candidate for the World Champion in 1953 and 1971 and World Senior Champion in 1993 and 1994), but also a virtouso pianist.

Now let us focus on the results. GM Giorgi Bagaturov from Georgia won the open category over 50 years after an amazing finish of 6 wins in the last 6 rounds. A full point behind him (and with a better result in the direct encounter against the third) was IM Alexander Reprintsev from Ukraine. In third place finished first ranked GM Zurab Sturua from Georgia.

Five players finished with 8.5 points in the O65+ category, so the tie-breaking system decided the championship. Only by a half of a point better tiebreaker than the second had GM Anatoly Vaisser from France, who is celebrating his 4th World Senior Champion title. Silver medal obtained GM Vlastimil Jansa from the Czech Republic and the bronze went to GM Evgeny Sveshnikov from Russia. The other two players with 8.5 points were IM Vladimir V Zhelinin from Russia in the 4th place and FM Clemens Werner from Germany on 5th place.

WSCC2016 winners
Top players in the open 65+ category

WFM Tatiana Bogumil from Russia managed to win the category for women over 50 years with an impressive finish. With 4.5 points in the last 5 rounds and especially with the win over first seeded WGM Elvira Berend in round 8, WFM Bogumil obtained not only the title of Women’s World Senior Champion, but also the title of WGM. WGM Elvira Berend from Luxembourg, who lead the tournament for most of the time, finished „only“ in second place. Bronze went to WGM Galina Strutinskaia from Russia.

No surprises happened in the category for women over 65 years. First seeded former Women’s World Chess Champion GM Nona Gaprindashvili from Georgia allowed her opponents only 2 draws and became the Women’s World Senior Chess Champion for the 3rd time in a row (and for the 5th time in total). WGM Elena Fatalibekova from Russia finished in 2nd place and WGM Tamar Khmiadashvili finished in 3rd place.

WSCC2016 winners2
Medailists in the W65+ tournament

World Senior Chess Championship 2016 was held under the auspices of mayor of Marianske Lazne Ing. Petr Tresnak and with the financial support of the city of Marianske Lazne.

All information regarding the championship including the results, games, photogallery and many more can be found on

World Senior Chess Championship is coming to its conclusion. With just two rounds left, there is no time left for attack from the lower positions and the frontrunners can feel pretty safe.

IM Nikolai Vlassov and IM Alexander Reprintsev are still sharing first place in the Open 50+ with 7.5 points, but they are accompanied by champion of Georgia in 1989, 1995 and 1999 GM Giorgi Bagaturov. GM Bagaturov has not played neither IM Vlassov, nor IM Reprintsev, so these two games might decide who will be the World Senior Champion. Only half a point behind are first ranked GM Zurab Sturua (champion of Georgia in 1975, 1977, 1981, 1984 and 1985 and World Senior Champion in 2014) and GM Georg Mohr (member of Slovenian olympic chess team in 1992-2002).

Situation in category O65+ is very similar - in the lead are GM Anatoly Vaisser from France, GM Vlastimil Jansa from Czech Republic and IM Boris Maryasin from Israel, all with 7.5 points. Member of Czech chess team on 10 olympiads GM Jansa will play IM Maryasin in round 10 and he still hasn’t played with GM Vaisser, so that game might be the climax of round 11. Waiting for mistakes of this trio half point behind are two russian legends GM Evgeny Sveshnikov and GM Evgeni Vasiukov and Iranian international master Khosro Harandi.

Boris Maryasin
GM Boris Maryasin won in round 9 with black

In women over 50, Luxembourgish WGM Elvira Berend is still leading by half a point with 7 points. The only lady with 6.5 points is WFM Tatiana Bogumil from Russia, who beat WGM Berend in round 8. Since the first tiebreak is the result of direct encounter, WGM Berend has to be very careful as a single draw might spoil everything.

Exactly 2 rounds are missing in W65+ as well. GM Nona Gaprindashvili from Georgia and WGM Elena Fatalibekova are in the lead with 6 points, full point ahead of everyone else. Since these two ladies already played each other and the game was draw, the winner might be decided by tiebreak.

Final days of the championship are also filled with interesting lectures and presentations. The first one was a presentation of Czech Open, one of the largest chess festival in the world, and series of international tournaments Czech Tour lead by the director of these tournaments as well as WSCC 2016 Dr. Jan Mazuch. Next two lectures were on how to train with ChessBase 14 with Martin Fischer and what diet is ideal for top chess players by WGM Jana Bellin.

Lecture ChessBase 14 - Your Personal Chess-Trainer with Martin Fischer
Lecture “ChessBase 14 - Your Personal Chess-Trainer” with Martin Fischer 

Half of the championship behind us

Six rounds are behind us, so we will take a look on the frontrunners in every category. Keep in mind thought that five full rounds still remain, so even a gap as large as 2 points can be erased with a perfect second half.

The top ranked players in category open 50+ all lost at least one point and so we have two international masters with 5.5 points in lead – Alexander Reprintsev from Ukraine and Nikolai Vlassov from Russia. Right behind them is a trio with 5 points – GM Keith C. Arkell from England, GM Georg Mohr from Slovenia and excellent trainer and author of the „Polar bear system“ GM Henrik Danielsen from Iceland.

Top seeded GM Zurab Sturua from Georgia, who represented Georgia six times on the Chess Olympiad, including 4th place in 2002, is right behind these players with 4.5 points after his lost to IM Reprintsev in round 4. In this 16-member group of players with 4.5 points we can also find second seeded GM Franco Carlos S. Matamoros from Ecuador and third seeded GM Alexander Ivanov from USA. All these very strong players will definitely try to attack the top positions in the second half of the tournament.

Round 5, board 1 in Open 50+: IM Vlassov – GM Danielsen, white surprised the opponent in the opening and won.

In the category for everyone older than 65 years, there are 3 players in the lead: IM Boris Khanukov from Germany, GM Evgeni Vasiukov from Russia and top ranked GM Anatoly Vaisser from France. GM Vaisser is trying to win this tournament for the fourth time already, but he is not the only one who was crowned World Senior Champion before – 83 years old GM Vasiukov is not only one of the strongest chess players of 1960s and 70s, but also the World Senior Champion from 1995! He is certainly proving that he is still a force to be reckon with in Marianske Lazne.

In the women‘s over 50 section, we have a single leader – top seeded WGM Elvira Berend from Luxembourg with 5 points, who is the only player from this small state at the championship, but represents its coloros very well. Right behind her with 4.5 points are WGM Yelena Ankudinova (who lost to WGM Berend in the 6th round) and second seeded WGM Galina Strutinskaia (who will play WGM Berend in the 7th round).

Round 6, board 1 of Women 50+: WGM Berend – WGM Ankudinova, white won creating her lead.

Traditionally smallest category is the tournament for women over 65 years. 18 players are playing in this category, so it will have „only“ 9 rounds. These ladies therefore have 2 more free days, one of which is already behind us. After 5 rounds, everyone lost at least a point and we have a 4-member group in the lead with 4 points: WGM Elena Fatalibekova (Women‘s World Senior Champion from 2000, 2001 and 2004), WIM Tamare Sorokina (both from Russia), WGM Tamar Khmiadashvili and also the top ranked former Women’s World Chess Champion GM Nona Gaprindashvili (both from Georgia).

Today was the only free day of the championship which many filled with prepared trip to Prague or with sightseeing in Marianske Lazne. A blitz tournament in the morning and a rapid tournament in the afternoon were prepared for those who wanted to rest by playing more chess.

70 players played in the 11-round blitz tournament. Winner was GM Jacob Meister from Germany with 9 points, followed by IM Nikolai Vlassov from Russia with 8.5 points and GM Keith C. Arkell from England with 8 points. The best woman was 4th WGM Elvira Berend from Luxembourg, also with 8 points and the best player over 65 years was 8th IM Lubomir Neckar from Czech Republic with 7.5 points.

76 players found their way to Monty Hotel after lunch for the 7-round rapid tournament. Experience was king here as the tournament was won by GM Evgeni Vasiukov from Russia (who was also the best player over 65 years) with 6 points followed by GM Jakob Meister from Germany also with 6 points and GM Evgeny Sveshnikov from Russia with 5.5 points. Best woman was 14th WIM Nina Sirotkina also from Russia with 4.5 points.

Full results and photos from both side tournaments as well as many other information about the championship including all games can be found at 

World Senior Chess Championship 2016 has started in Marianske Lazne

21 November 2016

470 players from 54 countries all around the world traveled to the Czech Republic to compete for the title of World Senior Champion.

Marianske Lazne (Marienbad) is a spa town in the western part of the Czech Republic. Over the decades it has become one of the top European spas and visits of the numerous notable figures and rulers only confirm that. Among them there were e.g. Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Alfred Nobel, Franz Joseph I, King Edward VII and many others. Marienbad is famous not only for its springs, but also for its architecture and is considered one of the most beautiful cities of Czech Republic.

The Town theatre of Marianske Lazne

The opening ceremony was held in the Town theatre. More than 300 people attended this formal start of the tournament and they were more than satisfied with what the organizers prepared. Petr Pisk, delegate of Czech Republic at FIDE, welcomed everyone in Marianske Lazne, then singers of Prague National Theatre Opera Irina Rurac from Moldova and Veronika Eichlerova from Czech Republic singed several songs making this ceremony unforgettable for all and were rewarded with seemingly endless ovation.

Irina Rurac (left) and Veronika Eichlerova

Players were then welcomed also by the mayor of Marianske Lazne Ing. Petr Tresnak, chairman of Czech Chess Federation Viktor Novotny and tournament director Dr. Jan Mazuch. Technical meeting followed, lead by the Chief Arbiter Andrzej Filipowicz, who explained the rules of the tournament which will end after 11 rounds full of exciting games on 30th November.

This year is the 110th anniversary of the birth of Vera Mencikova, the first Woman World Champion. Five women will recieve an award at this special occassion in Prague next week. One of these ladies is Hana Modrova who cannot be in Prague next week, because she is playing in the women 65+ years category here in Marianske Lazne. She therefore recieved this award at the opening ceremony from Mr. Novotný, Mrs. Ladomerska and Mr. Skoloud of SOCRATES 2001.

Left to right: Ing. Petr Tresnak, Viktor Novotny and Dr. Jan Mazuch

With 470 players, this tournament surpassed the previous attendance record of 312 by a lot. And not only quantity, but also quality is present. Notable players are GM Anatoly Vaisser (World Senior Champion in 2010, 2013 and 2014), GM Vladimir Okhotnik (World Senior Champion in 2011 and 2015), legendary theoretician GM Evgeny Sveshnikov and Women’s World Champion in years 1962-1978 GM Nona Gaprindashvili. In total, there are 22 grandmasters, 9 woman grandmasters, 47 international masters and 9 woman international masters in the tournaments.

The organizers have prepared many interesting free time activities including trip to the capitol of Prague and rapid and blitz tournament. You can find more information about the tournament, more than 80 live games, results, photos and many more at

World Senior Chess Championship 2016 is under the auspices of the deputy mayor of Marianske Lazne Ing. Petr Tresnak. WSCC 2016 is held under the financial support of the city of Marianske Lazne.